1931 Ford hot rod roadster

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The 1931 Ford roadster wears 78 coats of custom lacquer paint, the seller says

History takes many forms, and as with automobiles, an ever-changing progression of styles and tastes. The resurgence of classic street rodding has resulted in rising values for famous custom jobs from the past and the return of some great old show cars to the collector car market.

The Pick of the Day is one of them, a 1931 Ford hot rod roadster from the late 1960s that was originally built by customizer Jim Cooper and recently was owned by famed car designer Chris Ito. With the cruelly ironic name of Cockroach, the show car has survived in original preserved condition for four decades, according to its listing on ClassicCars.com.

The Ford served as cover car for a 2013 ‘Traditional Rod and Kulture’

The hot rod also bears witness to the glorious excesses of that era’s customizers, such as its richly applied paint in a highly creative color.

“This incredibly intact show rod from the late ’60s known as the Cockroach, features the original 78 coats of candy apple amber lacquer sprayed in the late ’60s- early ’70s,” the seller, a classic car dealer in Cadillac, Michigan, says in the ad.

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The seller goes through a laundry list of the custom features of this build, including a chrome-plated modified frame and floorboard with custom wishbones, plated suspension and hand-made nerf bars; a Buick Nailhead V8 dressed up with Weiand Nailhead accessories and topped by six chromed Stromberg carburetors fed by towering scoops; hand-built headers; a body shell channeled to match the cowl height; and an interior finished in diamond-pleated upholstery and Hollywood dashboard panel “with a full array of vintage SW instruments.”

The Cockroach has received some recent recognition, notably serving as the cover car for the Spring 2013 edition of Traditional Rod and Kulture magazine and featured in the Pat Ganahl book Lost Hot Rods II.

Although this iconic hot rod is far from lost, having been carefully tended by a succession of appreciative owners, according to a blurb from Traditional Rod and Kulture. A number of photos from the car’s original six-year construction are included in the sale, the dealer says.

Although the seller does not mention the running condition of the Cockroach, the asking price of $48,496 seems fair enough for this colorful piece of hot rod history.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.